Cobwebs Away..


 

Saunton Sands, North Devon

 

This was our view for lunch earlier this week, from our table on the terrace at the Saunton Sands Hotel.

It’s a bit hazy. It didn’t help that the photo was taken on a phone and into the sun. But the day turned out warm, even hot when the sun came out.  The plan, after lunch, was to go for a walk on the beach. But how far to the end? Ever the optimist I reckoned a mile. Mike’s estimate was three miles, “at least”. To settle the argument I consulted our amiable waiter. It was deceptive he said. You could tell he’d been called upon to arbitrate on this matter a time or two before. As it turned out, Mike was right. Oh dear. Three miles out. And three miles back. We decided to walk as far as felt comfortable and then turn round.

I’d underestimated the heat of the day and overestimated the sogginess of the sand. Most people on the beach were walking around barefoot. The rest had flip flops or sandals. The occasional pair of trainers.

 
 
 

 

There was only one person on the beach in wellies

 

But if I hadn’t had my wellies I wouldn’t have been able to take this shot and still keep dry..

 
 
 

 

Baggy Point, which we visited last year (here)

 
 
 

 

 I was way down the beach with my feet in the surf.. alongside my new chum.

Apparently both of these photographs needed their horizons straightening on Photoshop. It must have been the wine.

 
 
 

 

Walking on the sand was actually quite easy. It is so flat and well compacted that a Hercules transport aircraft once landed on the beach. There’s a photo in the hotel reception to prove it. And presumably it took off again safely too, since it’s no longer there.

The town barely visible on the distant hill is Westward Ho! The exclamation mark comes not from me, it’s part of the name. It was taken from the title of Charles Kingsley’s novel Westward Ho! (1855), which was set in nearby Bideford. We had our sights set much nearer though. My eye was on that little black speck far left of the picture, just under the farthest dune, where the beach starts to turn away around a bend. Three miles. Would we make it?

 
 
 

 

Ripples in the sand left by the retreating tide

Either that or the quilters have been out here in force.

 
 
 

 

A mussel shell with barnacles

 
 
 

 

Obviously a feather. But from what. Anybody know?

 
 
 

 

The black speck, revealed

Journey’s end. Except..

 
 
 

 

..the not insignificant matter of the 3 miles back

The white speck in this shot is the hotel. Where we’d left the car. One foot in front of the other, it can be done.

 
 
 

 

Watching me watching you

Buzzed by the marines. There’s an airbase at nearby Chivenor.

 
 
 

 

And then this guy turns up.

It sounds just like a motorbike and apparently it’s called a monowheel. Seems logical. The inner circle, with driver, somehow remains upright as the contraption is propelled along. It doesn’t look very comfortable though does it.. it surely won’t catch on. No space for a pillion either. And by that time I could have done with a lift.

 
 
 

 

The walk took just over two hours in total. Quite a bit of me ached. As it happens, quite a bit of me still aches.

But I can safely declare that the cobwebs are gone.